“Not in Our Name”: Jews Stage Massive Anti-War Protests In Tel Aviv, New York and Elsewhere

Not in Our Name!

(Jews and Palestinians have been holding anti-war protests throughout Israel, but the mainstream media has refused to cover them.)

 

Opposing Israeli Policy Does Not Make One a “Self-Hating Jew”

A huge anti-war protest is being held tonight by Israeli Jews in Tel Aviv:

Jews also protested the Gaza war in New York City yesterday:

w-2newyorkrally-072414Jews in New York City Protest Israeli treatment of Palestinians

Anti-war protests have also been held in other cities throughout the world.

Indeed, many Jews oppose Israeli treatment of the Palestinians:

Postscript: Many devoutly religious Jews oppose Zionism.  So opposing an Israeli policy does not make anti-Semitic … or a “self-hating Jew“.

And we salute Israelis protesting against the war, especially since dissent may subject them to death threats!

[Bella if you’re reading this my friend, be very careful, stay home and don’t go out alone. We love you!]

 

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Tony Blair, Phantom of the Opera – By Pepe Escobar

Tony Blair (AFP Photo / Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)

Tony Blair (AFP Photo / Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)

 

The Phantom of the (tragic) Middle East Opera is back. A killer without a clue, he can’t be blamed for not being consistent.

His most recent opus speaks for itself; like a Kabuki mask high on Earl Grey tea, the Phantom is eviscerated by his own mighty pen, actually sword.

The fact that the Phantom keeps getting away with his vast desert of convoluted lies – instead of languishing in some rotten, extraordinary rendition hotel – spells out all we need to know about so-called Western “elites”, of which he’s been a faithful, and handsomely rewarded, servant.

So Western “inaction” in Syria has led to the latest Iraq tragedy? Sorry, Tony; it was yours and “Dubya’s” 2003 Shock and Awe “action” that set the whole Shakespearean tragedy in motion.

The Phantom always wanted the Obama administration to bomb Syria, as much as he labored for “Dubya” to destroy Iraq. Phantom logic never considered that would have installed in Damascus the same Islamic State of Iraqi and the Levant (ISIL) that is now making a push towards Baghdad.

Then there’s the gift that keeps on giving – the endlessly recycled, repackaged Global War on Terror (GWOT), of which the Phantom was the prime sidekick. So Phantom had to be on board the latest US craze – which brands ISIL as the avatar of a new 9/11.

In Syria, Phantom has been one of the prime instigators of the “rebel with a cause” ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra-infested gang. If the Phantom’s bombing logic had won in Syria – he was preaching Damascus as a replay of 2003 Baghdad – Aleppo would be, for a while now, an avatar of Mosul.

The deeper we get into it, the Phantom looks and sounds like the heir of – also clueless – British commanders in 19th century Afghanistan. Look, for instance, at this unintended consequence of the 2001 American bombing of Afghanistan; now we have Hazaras – Afghan Shi’ites – fighting side by side with Iranians, alongside Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian army, against the Phantom-supported Syrian “rebels”.

Oh Tony; not even your old cohort Peter “Lord of Darkness” Mandelson could have explained that.

Picture released by the British Defense Ministry shows soldiers from the RECCE and PATROLS Platoon, Fire Support Company of The 1st Battalion The Royal Welch Fusilers (1 RWF) mount heli borne Eagle VCP's (Vehicle Check Points) near the southern Iraqi City of Basra 02 July 2004. (AFP Photo / MOD)

Picture released by the British Defense Ministry shows soldiers from the RECCE and PATROLS Platoon, Fire Support Company of The 1st Battalion The Royal Welch Fusilers (1 RWF) mount heli borne Eagle VCP’s (Vehicle Check Points) near the southern Iraqi City of Basra 02 July 2004. (AFP Photo / MOD)

 

By the way, the Phantom has always been a firm believer in the “evil” of Iran, constantly “warning” that Tehran was on the verge of assembling a nuclear weapon (old habits – as in the Phantom’s Saddam syndrome – die hard.) So imagine his Dick Cheney-worthy stupor when Washington and Tehran are on the verge of discussing in Vienna the set up of some sort of joint action to fight ISIL in Iraq, and even “uber-hawks” such as Republican Senator Lindsey Graham utter the unimaginable words, “We are probably going to need [Iran’s] help to hold Baghdad.”

The Phantom would be incapable of connecting the geopolitical dots from Afghanistan and Iraq to Libya and Syria; the bottom line he would be unable to identify is that there is absolutely no strategic, long-term Anglo-American foreign policy project in what the Pentagon still calls the “arc of instability”. If there ever was a motto, it was “Dubya’s” “you’re either with us or with the terrorists”. A motto turned on its head, because until this very moment Anglo-American power was “with the terrorists”, from Libya to Syria; a predictable perversion of time-tested Divide and Rule.

The Obama administration is going no holds barred to get a SOFA in Afghanistan – code for Enduring Freedom forever (with “discreet” Special Forces as the invisible stars.) Washington has already admitted it is sending lethal “assistance” to “moderate” rebels in Syria (as, in theory, the Islamic Front goons, not Jabhat al-Nusra or ISIL). As if Hollywoodish CIA assets wouldn’t know that these weapons will certainly be bought and/or stolen by hardcore jihadis.

ISIL in the borderless desert between Syria and Iraq is already a proto-Caliphate. Blowback from this weaponizing of so-called “moderates” – there are no “moderates”, as there are no Taliban “moderates” – will be no less than staggering. Victims includes Kurds in Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran; Turkmen in Iraq (as it’s already happening this week); and of course Christians all over (as it already happened in Syria).

Bomb them into democracy, again

The Phantom now is preaching for American “intervention” in Iraq; first you starve them; then you bomb them into a wasteland and call it “democracy”; then you occupy them; then you infest them with jihadis; then they kick you out; then the jihadis raise hell (now flush with $425 million stolen from a government vault in Mosul, apart from loads of cash from Wahhabis in the Gulf to buy all those white Toyotas and RPGs); then you re-occupy them softly. It IS the gift that keeps on giving.

Kurdish Peshmerga forces run for cover after an Iraqi army helicopter mistook them for militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Jalawla in the Diyala province, on June 14, 2014. (AFP Photo / Rick Findler)

Kurdish Peshmerga forces run for cover after an Iraqi army helicopter mistook them for militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Jalawla in the Diyala province, on June 14, 2014. (AFP Photo / Rick Findler)

 

As for the notion – equally peddled by the Phantom and US neo-cons – that ISIL is a threat to Western security (“trying to do harm to Europe, to America and other people”, in Kerry’s words), that’s nonsense; a joke as monumental as that maze of American satellites incapable of tracking a long line of white Toyotas advancing in the Western Iraqi desert – leading to the swift disintegration of four Iraqi army divisions.

They saw it, they tracked it, and they kept mum. That’s straight from the Empire of Chaos’s playbook. Why not advance murderous “Divide and Rule” between Sunnis and Shiites? Let them eat corpses – and kill each other to kingdom come, as in the eight-year Iran-Iraq war.

ISIL’s push is a remix of the Sunni-Shi’ite civil war of 2006-2007, whose effects, pre-American surge, I documented in my reportage book Red Zone Blues. At the time, it was all centered in Baghdad; when al-Qaeda in Iraq took over the Dora neighborhood in Baghdad, that lasted only a short while. Sunnis themselves rebelled against the medieval jihadi “worldview”.

The Phantom, anyway, got his wish; Iraq is for all practical purposes broken, irretrievably fragmented, and cannot be “fixed” (Colin Powell’s terminology). The Kurds have already solved one of the most intractable problems of post-Shock and Awe; they’ve already rearranged Sykes-Picot by taking over oil-rich Kirkuk (not to mention the Nineveh plateau).

And as further proof ISIL has nothing to do with a threat to Western security, the tanks and heavy artillery they captured in Iraq were redirected to Syria, in their push to fight Damascus.

This is all too much for the Phantom to digest. Perhaps he should start by reading this – as in Iraqi works rejecting everything that happened even before 2003, and even before the Phantom’s limelight moment.

As for the Phantom’s key argument that what’s happening now in Iraq is the result of less – and not more – Western warmongering, call it phantom hubris. The “Middle East” – in fact Southwest Asia – is a Western fiction imposed by colonial powers on the local populations. What the Pentagon described since the early 2000s as the “arc of instability” is a self-fulfilling projection of anarchy, with some patches of “peace” represented by those repellent GCC petro-monarchies (after we need “our” oil).

And then there’s the slowly but surely inevitable process of progressive integration of Eurasia – along the myriad, Chinese-driven new silk roads. That’s anathema for the empire of chaos and its “special relationship” minion. So Southwest Asia in perpetual chaos is more than welcomed. Expect hubristic Phantom to call for increased fuel to be added to this Western-concocted opera already on fire.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Eddie Vedder sings ‘Imagine’ in response to criticism

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Eddie Vedder frontman of Pearl Jam

This week, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder drew criticism for comments he made regarding the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza. “I swear to fucking God, there are people out there who are looking for a reason to kill!” Vedder proclaimed during the band’s recent concert in England. “They’re looking for a reason to go across borders and take over land that doesn’t belong to them. They should get the fuck out and mind their own fucking business.” While Vedder never made reference to a specific country, many Israeli news publications have since dubbed his comments as anti-Israel, as Rolling Stone reports.

Eddie Vedder has a message for his critics: “Imagine.”

The Pearl Jam frontman addressed recent criticism of his anti-war comments by playing the John Lennon classic at a solo show Friday in Meco, Portugal.

“I think it is the most powerful song ever written, which is why I have never played it. It seems like maybe there is a reason to play it,” Vedder said, according to a video posted on the website Consequence of Sound.

“(Being) anti-war make(s) you pro many things. Pro peace, pro human, pro evolution,” he said before introducing the song. “Makes you pro communication, pro diplomacy, pro love, pro understanding, pro forgiveness.”

In recent weeks, Vedder has made headlines, first with an antiwar rant at a concert in Milton Keynes, England, and later comments on Pearl Jam’s website.

“I swear to f****** God, there are people out there who are looking for a reason to kill!” Vedder said at the English show before singing Edwin Starr’s “War.” “They’re looking for a reason to go across borders and take over land that doesn’t belong to them.”

Those comments were viewed by some Israeli publications as anti-Israel, Rolling Stone reported. One Israeli DJ, who was hoping to bring Pearl Jam to Israel, said that Vedder was now “invited not to come here.”

In response, Vedder reiterated his anti-war beliefs on Pearl Jam’s website in a post titled “Imagine That — I’m Still Anti-War.”

“Call me naïve. I’d rather be naïve, heartfelt and hopeful than resigned to say nothing for fear of misinterpretation and retribution,” he wrote. “War hurts. It hurts no matter which sides the bombs are falling on. … I know that we can’t let the sadness turn into apathy. And I do know we are better off when we reach out to each other.”

He then quoted from “Imagine”: ” ‘I hope someday you’ll join us,… ‘ ” and added a bit of Paul McCartney: “Won’t you listen to what the man said.”

Eddie Vedder has a message for his critics: “Imagine.”

The Pearl Jam frontman addressed recent criticism of his anti-war comments by playing the John Lennon classic at a solo show Friday in Meco, Portugal.

“I think it is the most powerful song ever written, which is why I have never played it. It seems like maybe there is a reason to play it,” Vedder said, according to a video posted on the website Consequence of Sound.

“(Being) anti-war make(s) you pro many things. Pro peace, pro human, pro evolution,” he said before introducing the song. “Makes you pro communication, pro diplomacy, pro love, pro understanding, pro forgiveness.”

In recent weeks, Vedder has made headlines, first with an antiwar rant at a concert in Milton Keynes, England, and later comments on Pearl Jam’s website.

“I swear to f****** God, there are people out there who are looking for a reason to kill!” Vedder said at the English show before singing Edwin Starr’s “War.” “They’re looking for a reason to go across borders and take over land that doesn’t belong to them.”

Those comments were viewed by some Israeli publications as anti-Israel, Rolling Stone reported. One Israeli DJ, who was hoping to bring Pearl Jam to Israel, said that Vedder was now “invited not to come here.”

In response, Vedder reiterated his anti-war beliefs on Pearl Jam’s website in a post titled “Imagine That — I’m Still Anti-War.”

“Call me naïve. I’d rather be naïve, heartfelt and hopeful than resigned to say nothing for fear of misinterpretation and retribution,” he wrote. “War hurts. It hurts no matter which sides the bombs are falling on. … I know that we can’t let the sadness turn into apathy. And I do know we are better off when we reach out to each other.”

He then quoted from “Imagine”: ” ‘I hope someday you’ll join us,… ‘ ” and added a bit of Paul McCartney: “Won’t you listen to what the man said.”

A transcript of Vedder’s full introduction of the song:

“You know if you are anti war, If your anti war it doesn’t mean you are pro one side or the other in a conflict. However it does make you pro many things We are not alone after all. Take this CNN, That’s good, that’s nice, or whomever.

“Well, so anti war make you pro many things. Pro peace, pro human, pro evolution, Makes you pro communication, pro diplomacy, pro love, pro understanding, pro forgiveness. You know some people don’t understand how you can be pro soldier. If you are anti war your pro soldier because you don’t want the soldier to be put in harms way. To sacrifice himself or herself for some reason that’s not…for no good reason. I have many, many…We have many, many friends of the group and through out our lives we’ve met incredible people and in the armed forces. We have an understanding and they listen our music and they get it so I’m not sure…You know sometimes if you speak out people are going to misunderstand and they take things a certain way or another. If you don’t speak out you don’t know..If someone doesn’t like it probably means it has some kind of meaning. It’s not just bullshit. It’s not just nothing. So this next song I always thought it was probably the most powerful song ever written. I think it is the most powerful song ever written. Which is why I have never played it. It seems like maybe there is a reason to play it. If you’d like join me or use your voices or hold a light there might be some people out there that need to know they are not alone.”

Listen to the sound of the Global South

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (R) makes a speach during the 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, on July 15, 2014. (AFP Photo / Yasuyoshi Chiba)

 

Listen to the sound of the Global South

By Pepe Escobar

Published by ASIAN TIMES

July 17, 2014 

Pepe Escobar

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.

 

 

The BRICS summit in northeast Brazil has already made history for one key reason; the creation of the New Development Bank.

Call it the Global South antidote to that structural adjustment racket, the IMF. Over and over again, BRICS member nations and others have insisted on an institutional IMF reform that would recognize the economic weight of the Global South. Reform packages have been languishing in the US Congress since 2010. And once again they were blocked last April.

The New Development Bank will be way more democratic than the US/EU-controlled IMF. Look at the funding; a flat $10 billion contribution by each member country. This means, sooner or later, that other developing nations will also join. I have called it casino capitalism versus a productive capitalism model.

The summit agenda was humongous; the BRICS discussed trade, sustainable development strategies, macroeconomic policy, energy, finance, terrorism, climate change, regional security, drug smuggling, transnational crime, the industrialization of Africa. The BRICS are already advancing a slew of strategic multilateral projects in terms of setting up an alternative network infrastructure; for instance, the BRICS cable, currently being laid from Vladivostok to Shantou, Chennai, Cape Town and Fortaleza (where the summit took place). The BRICS cable is all about IT security, technology transfer, commodity turnover – and facilitating financial operations. Crucially, the cable bypasses the US.

On the second day of the summit, the five BRICS leaders spent four and a half hours at a round table with leaders of Unasur, the Union of South American Nations. There they were – Argentina’s Kirchner, Chile’s Bachelet, Colombia’s Santos, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Ecuador’s Correa, Uruguay’s Pepe Mujica, Venezuela’s Maduro, Peru’s Umala, among others. That was the Global South in action; a substantial chunk of the real “international community” discussing production, investment, integration – not sanctions and bombs.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (L) talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin upon his arrival to the 6th BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, on July 15, 2014. (AFP Photo / Yasuyoshi Chiba)

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (L) talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin upon his arrival to the 6th BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, on July 15, 2014. (AFP Photo / Yasuyoshi Chiba)

They talked myriad possibilities of BRICS investment in infrastructure – and integration – projects all across Latin America. For instance, as Chinese President Xi Jinping suggested, the perennially dreamed railway from the Pacific Ocean in Peru to the Atlantic in Brazil. A trilateral Brazil-Peru-China working group was set to plan, design, build and operate the transcontinental rail.

Russia shared its experience on dealing with money laundering and transnational cross-border crime. On security, Russia and China shared the synergy between the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which binds Russia and China into a common security policy with Central Asia.

They talked about multiple strategies to bypass the Orwellian/Panopticon complex. And they talked about slowly implementing a multilateral, multipolar world.

From Brasilia to Brussels

In a nutshell, Putin and Xi played chess in Obama’s “backyard”, while the Yes We Can cipher was too busy playing with – what else – more sanctions.

Here is the common BRICS voice on sanctions; “We condemn unilateral military interventions and economic sanctions in violation of international law and universally recognized norms of international relations. Bearing this in mind, we emphasize the unique importance of the indivisible nature of security, and that no State should strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others.”

As the BRICS and Unasur talked cooperation and integration in Brasilia, in Brussels, France, Germany and Italy were the key EU members who refused to follow Washington and impose “sectorial trade and economic sanctions” on Russia. Still, the divided EU could not but end up singing to His Master’s Voice (US sanctions do wonders to promote the Transatlantic Trade Partnership, the multibillion dollar “free” trade still resisted by many within the EU.)

Thus the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will block new projects in Russia, and the European Commission will also suspend most of the grants and loans it set aside for Russia.
The White House, of course, remains in a mean and vindictive class all by itself. So here are more sanctions on Rosneft, Gazprombank, Novatek, and state economic development bank VEB, plus a rash of others on eight state-owned defense firms, Russian government officials, an oil shipping facility in Crimea, and federalists in Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine. The proverbially anonymous “US officials” were on hand to pronounce these sanctions would “restrict” Russia’s access to “US debt markets.”

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AFP Photo / Dmitry Kostyukov

Now compare it to the BRICS’s unified voice on Ukraine, pushing for “a comprehensive dialogue, the de-escalation of the conflict and restraint from all the actors involved, with a view to finding a peaceful political solution, in full compliance with the UN Charter.”

Alexei Pushkov, Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on International Affairs, had pretty well defined, even before the summit, what the BRICS are for; “When it is said in the West that there is a kind of world community, which condemns us, they mean 28 NATO member states and the EU. However, this is not the world, but the West, the Euro-Atlantic community. And it is, with all its weight, not all of the world community, but only part of it.”

So not only this is the BRICS against the Washington consensus; it’s also the BRICS against the Western sanctions “model”. And the superimposed messages coming out from Fortaleza are crystal clear; the West’s monopoly on setting the global agenda is over.

Take also the BRICS’s unified voice on Israel/Palestine; they support “a contiguous and economically viable Palestinian State existing side by side in peace with Israel, within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders based on the 4 June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital”. They also “oppose the continuous construction and expansion of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by the Israeli Government, which violates international law, gravely undermines peace efforts and threatens the viability of the two-State solution.”

Israel, of course, is not listening. They’d rather go on with their slow motion ethnic cleansing of Gaza.

After all, former bouncer turned truculent Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the Knesset, “the operation must end with the IDF controlling the entire Gaza strip.”

The BRICS, at the insistence of Russia and China, even introduced an updated draft treaty on the need to prevent the weaponization of outer space – as in Star Wars, an essential part of the Pentagon’s Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine. Guess who has always voted against it at the UN; Tel Aviv and Washington.

So the choice presented to the Global South is very simple, really. Pick your model; one is characterized by integration, cooperation, mutual respect. The other orders you to bow to His Master’s Voice; if you disobey, the model sanctions you to death, targets your energy industry, your access to financial markets, your wellbeing and, pushed to the limit, bombs you back to medieval times.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Comment:

Christian Noyer, Governor of the Bank of France and a member of the European Central Bank’s Governing Council, said that “Washington’s sanctions are driving companies and countries out of the dollar payments system”. The huge sum extorted from the French bank, BNP Paribas, for doing business with countries disapproved by Washington makes clear the increased legal risks that arise from using the dollar when Washington makes the rules”